RICK FLARE: BEAT ARKITEKZ
N.A.B: Tell me about Beat Arketikz. Who is apart of the camp and when was it first established?
RF Beat Arkitekz: The Beat Arkitekz is myself, Deranged, Onederkid, DJ Glorious and Buttafingaz. We were all producing on our own forever and finally decided we can all combine our talents together and see what works. One Army can do more than a soldier, but an army can't be formed without the soldiers. Feel me?
N.A.B.: When did you start producing?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Um...I think my first setup was some super bullshit, (laughs). I jacked my older cousins Casio keyboard and I had an old ass Sony Radio One Cassette Tape Player. I was about 14 or 15. Then a good friend of mines Money Marv was the neighborhood producer. He let me take his Boss Dr-5 cause he had just upgraded to the Korg Triton. So he taught me the base of shit, as far as sequencing, arrangement, breakdowns. Then he turned around and taught me the Triton. He was a real good dude for doing that, because he had nothing to gain by helping me.
N.A.B.: Who was your first major placement?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Depends on what you call major, I define major by what song had the most impact. I'd say Chyna Whyte. We did a track for her called "Hell N Back" and did the mix and master on it. It generated a real good buzz for us on the underground. The next one was "Crazy Life". That was a track from Big Wy of The Relativez. Big Wy is a dope placement by himself, but when he got The Game on the track made the song even bigger.
N.A.B.: What was the first thing you bought when you got a substantial check from production?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Shit man I got babies to raise, so I put it in the bank. You know how this music business is. You don't know when your going to see your next check, so it's better to stash and save rather than fuck it off.
N.A.B.: Is your production mostly samples or original compositions?
RF Beat Arkitekz: That was the dilemma at first. All of us are from the Southeastern
region, so you know growing up at the time, N.Y. was the dominant force in music. Of course Geto Boys, Trick Daddy, Scarface, UGK, they were beast too but you mostly heard N.Y. on the radio. I was like well I love sampling but the Boss DR-5 I had at the time didn't sample. So I copped an SU200 which sampled, so now I could sample. Then I realized that when you sample it's a ton of paperwork and money depending on the clearance. So I started making beats from scratch. I love sampling to death, but nothing beats making something from scratch an artist hears and is like “wow....this is dope” We can do it all though. We figured it made more sense to study damn near every genre of music and try to create it so we wouldn't be one dimensional. That way, if you have a sound that catches fire, you know everyone is going to emulate it immediately. You can just throw that to the side and hop on something else quick and have a new sound in no time.
N.A.B.: What do you use equipment wise for your productions?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Depends. I transferred over to software about 6 or 7 years ago. Reason is pretty dope, but I love FL Studio as well. It was a rough transition though. Not because of a learning curve, because if your from that 90's era you've been brainwashed into thinking hardware was superior to software. When all the drum machine is, is just a stripped down CPU made to do specific functions. Then I said...well....shit let me give it a try, and I've been moving ever sense. I treat them like I would hardware keyboards. If I don't feel like using reason I use FL, and vice versa. They both have their pluses and minuses. Just depends on what I'm trying to make.
N.A.B.: What do you think is better, analog or digital?
RF Beat Arkitekz: I think both are equally good. I mean I've met dudes who are savage as fuck with an MPC and a Roland XP50 to this day, then I met some dudes and marvel at how they intergrate hardware and software. Each has it's sound though you know, the software has a super clean sound, which is good but Analog has that rough warpy sound, and that's good too. Just depends on your preference on what you want to do.
N.A.B.: What producers influence you?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Mannie Fresh, KLC, that's like my Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre. KlC influenced my drum programming, but Mannie influenced my keyboard production, as far as transitions and breakdowns. Juvenile's "400 Degrees" album I still listen to that because I see what he was doing with the setup. He was rumored to have around this time, it still amazes me. DJ Premier was also an influence on my east coast production as far as chopping samples, like sometimes you don't need some long samples. A 4 count with the right drums will kill any well arranged keyboard beat.
N.A.B.: We know you've worked with a lot of artists. Who do you feel has done something unexpected with one of your beats?
RF Beat Arkitekz: I'd say Teleoso. It was this track I made for Chyna Whyte, she ended up
picking another track. So I shot that to her, and she did this song called "Down". I wasn't expecting that type of song.
N.A.B.: Name 3 of your favorite records that you've produced?
RF Beat Arkitekz: 1. "Down" by Teleoso. 2. "Get Wet III" by Mega Buck$ featuring Zandrina. 3. "Cookies" by Wring-O. The "Cookies" song is getting heavy play in clubs right now, so I think that's going to turn the corner for us.
N.A.B.: Any advice for up and coming producers?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Stay productive and take what you can get. Right now no one knows who's going to be a star in 6 months to a year so work with everyone you can and learn your craft. There's nothing wrong with just banging on keys coming up with melodies, but that will dry out eventually. If you learn your craft as far as scales and chords, arrangements, even researching the history of production, I don't think you can lose. Always do square business, I mean sometimes business fucks up that happens but try hard to not let it be your end of the business that's fucked up. Let the artist be the person with that burden, not you.
N.A.B.: Any last words or shout outs?
RF Beat Arkitekz: Just shout out to everyone that's been holding us down from day one. Just keep rolling with us.
For more information about RICK FLARE and BEAT ARKITEKZ follow him on Twitter @RFBeatArkitekz and YouTube www.youtube.com/RFPalmMetal
Interviewed and Written by: Ms. FeFe (N.A.B.)
Courtesy of The Elegant Hoodness Musical Program 2011'